Monday, January 16, 2023

Nathan Tufts family photographs looking for a home.

Nathan Tufts 1911

St Clair Studio, Portsmouth, NH 

I am trying to find any living descendants of this family to return old photographs to. They are the family of Nathan Tufts of Cambridge Massachusetts.

The list of people in the photos:

Nathan Tufts (1898-1982)

Lucy Renney Tufts (1877-1940)

Amy Louisa Tufts (1882-1955)

Mary Jane Tufts (1882-1959) married George Richardson

Charles Henry Richardson child of Mary Jane (above)

George Edward Richardson child of Mary Jane (above)

Charlotte Fitz Tufts (1885-1975) married Frank Hatch

While originating in the Boston area and some of these families living in Cambridge. There was also a line which went to Lancaster, Worcester County, Massachusetts, area. 

Please contact me if you have any information on living descendants of this family so we can return these to them.


This family descends from our common immigrant ancestor Peter Tufts of Charlestown, Massachusetts circa 1638. Their line:

Peter Tufts (1617-1700) The immigrant from England

John Tufts (1664-1728)

Peter Tufts( 1697-1776)

Nathan Tufts (1724-1771)


Nathan Tufts (1786-1872) Brother of Charles Tufts of Tufts University fame.

Nathan Tufts (1818-1887) 


Tuesday, June 8, 2021

My search for Henry Tufts graveyard in Lee, New Hampshire, Part 2.

 This is a little longer as there are numerous details to be presented.

In Part 1, I briefly described our search and cleanup of what we think is the old Henry Tufts family graveyard in Lee and Durham, New Hampshire. Henry Tufts was a criminal and author of an entertaining autobiography. Part 2 will detail the facts that led us to believe this was, in fact, his farm and graveyard. Please read the other Henry Tufts stories from previous dates.

Henry’s father, Henry Sr., settled in Lee around 1740. He is well recorded as a son of Reverend Thomas Tufts of Medford, Massachusetts. Tufts Kinsmen states that Henry Sr. was taxed in Exeter in 1737 and went to Newmarket before he went to Lee. He was a tailor and established himself at farming on the Lee Hook road. Earlier records can be misleading because some this unsettled area of New Hampshire was part of Exeter, Newmarket, or Durham before Lee was incorporated (1766). Durham was only incorporated in 1732.

The earliest deeds are being researched to get a better idea of when Henry Tufts Sr.  bought the place and if there were earlier residents and homes. The deed we do have at the time of this writing, is from Thomas Tufts, son of Henry Sr. to his Grandson Daniel Falls in 1832.  (As stated in Part 1, Henry Sr. and his wife Mary should be buried on the farm as well as their children; Molly, Eliphalet, and Thomas Tufts with his wife Hannah.)

The farm sitting along the border of Durham and Lee is mentioned in Landmarks in Ancient Dover by Mary Pickering Thompson, 1892. 


This book continues for a full page with an entertaining description of Henry Tufts and his book.

There was also a handwritten record found in a book in the Dover library. It is hard to read, and I hope to go find it again. (Click on picture for larger view)

 “Location of the Henry Tufts house as given by (? Cornell?), who lived on the McDaniel farm.”

 “Thomas Tufts, brother of Henry lived on a farm on the road from Lee Hill to Newmarket. He sold this farm to James McDaniel. When McDaniel bought it there was a story and a half house - old and set- in from the road. Thos. Tufts lived there. While there he set out an orchard of mulberry trees and raised silkworms. Some of the (heirs?)  are there at the present day….”

 “….At the lower end of this orchard, which is now a pasture called the sheep pasture, on a high knoll is the cellar of the house where Henry Tufts lived. It is about a quarter of a mile from the road reached by a lane between the McDaniel farm and the Jenkins farm…”

Three items from this are correct while others may not be. There were mulberry bushes in the lower end of the fields at #309 Lee Hook Road (confirmed by the present owners). We know Thomas Tufts lived there and sold it to his Grandson. The property consists of a house at the road edge and a lane to an old cape and barn. The deeds should hold the proof of who lived where. Maps of different eras show McDaniel families living in the house at #309 Lee Hook Road and the cape.

The above description of Henry Tufts Sr’s old house is hard to determine. I have walked the property and it seems to me the only knoll is behind the cape down the lane as described and is currently a sheep pasture. The McDaniel cemetery is located there with what could be Tufts buried there as well. (See Part 1.) The cellar hole could have been filled in to expand the sheep pasture. I cannot tell from the LIDAR views if there is an anomaly indicating an old cellar hole, but an expert might be able to.

 Above view with blue arrow indicates McDaniel graveyard and cape house circled. 

  The three maps below show the section of Lee Hook Road, in the pictures above and the yellow 1892 Hurd map indicates J. McDaniel lived in the front house and F. McDaniel in the house set back from the road. Also the Hurd map shows the home of S. Tash house down a lane across from the Tufts-McDaniel property.


These maps give proof that Henry Tufts lived on the property, and likely in the two homes on the north side of Lee Hook Road, and Thomas and Hannah lived there afterwards and sold to McDaniels. I hope we can find the deeds to confirm this. These old maps are not drawn to scale so we will rely on the deed research.

In Part 1, I described the stone marker with the prominent TxT engraved which was found in the old pasture across Lee Hook Road from this property. It was found in an overgrown area with no evidence of a graveyard visible. 

There was a description of the stone in this recollection as well:

 (In the) field front of the McDaniel house is the Tufts family burying ground in which Thomas and his wife are buried. There is a slate-head stone still standing marked T. W. T.

This description seems to indicate the field and Tufts family burying ground is in front of the McDaniel home which would place it across Lee Hook Road in the pasture where the “TxT” stonewas found. A historic aerial image is available at the GRANITVIEW page at It shows the pasture starting to grow over in 1964. It does not show a clearly defined graveyard. That website also has LIDAR images. They clearly show an old cellar hole (Tash) as a small circle near the huge fields lower left (where we found it) but I cannot make out a graveyard.


The stone could be that of Thomas Tufts as described in the recollection, it could have been in a graveyard long gone beneath pasture and woods, or it could have been moved from the graveyard further down the road. Some deeds may show that McDaniels also owned the home at #333 Lee Hook Road where the graveyard sits on the road edge across the street. I’m not ready to ask the farmer to let us clear the old pasture and can’t afford the ground penetrating radar anyway. The TxT stone should be returned to the place it was found or close to it and maintained there. It’s possible some of the deeds could hold a better description of a graveyard as well.

It is also possible that the stone could be a marker for a Tash, not Thomas Tufts. I have not discovered an S. Tash as indicated on the Hurd map above, but The Tash family of Rockingham County included Major Thomas Tash and Colonel Thomas Tash as well as the note in Landmarks in Ancient Dover (above). The Colonel removed to New Durham and was buried there in 1809. The website “findagrave” lists Major Thomas Tash and his wife buried in the First Parish Meeting House Cemetery in Newfields, New Hampshire stating he is next to her 1759 stone in an unmarked grave. Genealogies of the Tash family differ, but most trace Scottish roots of soldiers and pioneers.

As always, please forward corrections or omissions. There will probably be a part 3 as we are currently researching the deeds in more detail (June 2021).